How to add Lace and Beads to a Wedding Veil
Updated: May 30
A wedding veil is a small part of a big day. It adds to the Bride's ensemble and can be a symbol of tradition or a break therefrom. In my first veil post which you can find here, I walked through the steps to make a basic veil which can be done in an afternoon. In this post, we'll look at how to add embellishments of beads and lace.
The photos accompanying this post were taken while making the veil for my new sister's wedding - keep in mind that you can add as much or as little embellishment as is desired. For example, the veil worn at my own wedding had lace going all the way around the perimeter and no beading at all.
Q: What materials do I need to embellish a veil?
A: This depends on what you want to add!
To add lace, you will need:
Lace of your choosing
Hand sewing needles - I like sharps for this
To add beads, you will need:
Beads of your choosing
Hand sewing needles - I recommend a beading needle here
Invisible thread - don't substitute fishing line here, it can be too thick!
Q: What kind of lace and beads are best?
A: Whatever kind you like! Embellishments are a great place to play with color and texture. Consider also the amount of shine or glitter you would like to include (or avoid). When choosing lace, note that you can either choose appliques or lace by-the-yard and then cut it apart.
The lace shown in the photos and video below can be found here from JoAnn Fabrics. The beads were purchased at a local bead shop and are a mix of freshwater pearls, lilac Ceylon, and moon stones.
Q: Can I use recycled materials for this project?
A: Absolutely! The veil is a great place to include something old. For example, my mother's wedding dress was ruined by a large stain down the front of the dress (red wine, towards the end of the reception). I carefully used a pair of snips to recover the lace from the hem of the dress and used it to make my veil. Beads can be recovered from old or broken jewelry - check your local thrift stores if you want to go this route but don't have anything on hand.
How to Embellish a Veil
(Step 1) Pin the veil so that it hangs as it will on a person. I used a dress form topped with a travel pillow and tailor's ham for this. You can always use a live model as well!
One the veil is hung up, take your lace and pin it where you like. For my sister's veil, she wanted pieces here and there. Because the veil is two layers and has a flowing edge, some pieces were on opposite sides of the fabric (right side vs. wrong side).
If the bride is not with you, be sure to take a photo and send it along before moving on! This will help ensure all your work matches what the bride has envisioned.
(Step 2) Sew the lace to the veil using matching thread. Because most lace is rather delicate, you will need to do this by hand. This is especially true of lace that includes its own beads or sequins.
I like to use a running backstitch to attach the lace as the seams won't be under much stress. Check out the video below for a short tutorial (with tips!) on how to attach the lace by hand!
One note on thread: don't try to use invisible thread here. It seems like a good idea at first, but the poly thread doesn't want to be in straight lines and, if you can manage to make a few stitches with it (a challenge in its own right), it could put some unwanted kinks in your fabric. Unfortunately, because invisible thread is made from plastic, you won't be able to press them out because the thread could melt.
(Step 3) Add beads to the veil one at a time. Most veils that include beads will use a similar, randomized distribution of beads so as to not weigh down the veil. This means the beads must be attached individually instead of in strings. To do this:
Thread your needle but do NOT knot the thread at the end.
Come up through the veil and into the bead, then go back down a few threads over. Use the thread to tie a square knot on the back of the fabric. Cut the thread so there is about 1 cm on either side of the knot.
Repeat until you've got enough beads!
(Step 4) Add beads to the top of the comb if desired. I did continue to use the invisible thread here as the comb was stiff enough to keep its shape. To make sure the beads stayed in a straight line, I stitched down each bead individually, then went back every 3 or so beads and stitched them down together.
At the end of the row, I used the needle to tie a sort-of knot by making a blanket stitch, then put the needle through the comb's fabric for a few inches to secure it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you make the veil of your dreams!
Remember to like and comment on this post, especially if you have questions about anything that's been included.